Quotation by Irving Kristol

Pornography is not objectionable simply because it arouses sexual desire or lust or prurience in the mind of the reader or spectator; this is a silly Victorian notion. A great many nonpornographic works—including some parts of the Bible—excite sexual desire very successfully. What is distinctive about pornography is that, in the words of D.H. Lawrence, it attempts "to do dirt on [sex].... [It is an] insult to a vital human relationship." In other words, pornography differs from erotic art in that its whole purpose is to treat human beings obscenely, to deprive human beings of their specifically human dimension. That is what obscenity is all about. It is light years removed from any kind of carefree sensuality—there is no continuum between Fielding's Tom Jones and the Marquis de Sade's Justine. These works have quite opposite intentions.
Irving Kristol (b. 1920), U.S. editor, educator. "Pornography, Obscenity, and the Case for Censorship," Reflections of a Neoconservative, Basic Books (1983).
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